As part of the deal to get Department of Justice approval for the Disney and Fox merger there was a requirement that the Fox Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) would be sold off. According to the deal, now that Disney has closed on the sale of most of 21st Century Fox they have just 90 days to sell off the regional sports networks currently running under the Fox Sports name.
This deal was made as there was a fear that Disney owning ESPN, ABC, and the Fox regional sports networks would give them to much power in the world of sports.
A few months ago we have reports that Disney plans to split up FOX’s regional sports networks and sell them separately. Earlier it had been expected that Disney would sell them as part of a single deal. According to reports Amazon, Sinclair, Charter, and TENGA, to name a few are all bidding on the FOX RSNs including YES Network according to sources that talked with CNBC. It had been previously reported that YouTube was also interested but as of today there are no reports of YouTube bidding on FOX RSNs.
There have been reports that the New York Yankees plan to buy back YES Network for $3.47 billion but as of today, this deal has not been made official. This looks like a done deal that was just waiting for Disney to get ownership before the deal could be announced.
In total FOX RSNs and Yes Network air 44 professional teams including ones from the MLB, NBA, and NHL. The company that buys FOX’s RSNs will have great power over the future of streaming sports going forward.
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